State of Hunger

Our latest report reveals the extreme poverty faced by people at food banks going into the pandemic, with just £248 a month on average to survive on after housing costs. That money needs to cover energy and water costs, council tax, food, and other essentials.

This is unacceptable.

It’s time for change – and that will only be possible as we raise our voices together to call for an end to the need for food banks.

We need your help. We’re calling on government at all levels to commit to ending the need for food banks and developing a plan to do so, and we need you to get involved.

This new report is part of State of Hunger, the largest ever study into hunger and food bank use in the UK. Carried out by researchers at Heriot-Watt University, this research is helping us to understand the scale of hunger and destitution in the UK and learn how we can work together to build a hunger free future.

95% of people referred to food banks in our network in early 2020 were destitute, meaning they were unable to afford the eat or stay warm and dry. 62% of working age people referred to food banks in our network in early 2020 were disabled - three times the rate in the general working age population. 18% of households referred to food banks in our network during the pandemic were single parents - more than twice the rate in the general population.

This is unacceptable – and the research shows us just what needs to happen to change things for the better.

We know that extremely low income is a key factor driving people to food banks, and social security payments were a real issue. We need change now to make sure we can all afford the basics. With high rates of unemployment and redundancies, it’s vital that the UK Government acts now to protect people from poverty. We need government at all levels to recognise that they have the power to deliver the changes we need to build a different future.

“How can anyone in this country stay warm and dry and buy food on just £248 a month after rent? People struggling in extreme poverty are pushed to the doors of food banks because they don’t have enough money to survive. Hunger in the UK isn’t about food – it’s about people not being able to afford the basics.

“We know we can change this. We need to change the conversation around poverty and take action together. We need government at all levels to commit to ending the need for food banks once and for all and to develop a plan to do so. It’s time for government to make this a priority – to recognise that it must be an essential part of their levelling up agenda to work towards a hunger free future where we can all afford the basics.”

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust

We’re asking you, the public, to make your voice heard and help us build a hunger free future.

After 10 years of cuts and a global pandemic, more people than ever are facing destitution. Will you join our movement for positive change? More than 100,000 people have already signed up to make a difference, and now is the perfect time to join them.